By John Grisham
In the most important league draft of 1971, the 1st participant selected from the kingdom of Oklahoma was once Ron Williamson. whilst he signed with the Oakland A’s, he stated see you later to his native land of Ada and left to pursue his desires of huge league glory.
Six years later he was once again, his goals damaged by way of a nasty arm and undesirable habits—drinking, medications, and ladies. He started to convey indicators of psychological disorder. not able to maintain a role, he moved in along with his mom and slept twenty hours an afternoon on her sofa.
In 1982, a 21-year-old cocktail waitress in Ada named Debra Sue Carter was once raped and murdered, and for 5 years the police couldn't remedy the crime. For purposes that have been by no means transparent, they suspected Ron Williamson and his pal Dennis Fritz. the 2 have been eventually arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder.
With no actual facts, the prosecution’s case was once equipped on junk technological know-how and the testimony of jailhouse snitches and convicts. Dennis Fritz was once came upon responsible and given a existence sentence. Ron Williamson was once despatched to demise row.
If you think that during the United States you're blameless until eventually confirmed to blame, this publication will surprise you. when you think within the loss of life penalty, this publication will disturb you. if you happen to think the legal justice approach is reasonable, this booklet will infuriate you.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra resources for The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town (John Grisham)
Gary Rogers took the stand subsequent and persevered a close precis of the research. yet his most vital contribution to the state’s case was once recounting for the jury the dream confession Ron made the day after he used to be arrested. It sounded simply nice on direct examination, yet Barney had a couple of issues of it. He was once really curious as to why the assertion used to be now not recorded. Rogers admitted that the police owned and infrequently used a video digital camera, and whilst pressed by way of Barney, he admitted that usually it wasn’t used while the investigators weren’t definite what the witness may perhaps say. Why run the danger of recording whatever damaging to the prosecution yet useful to the defendant? Rogers admitted that the police division owned a tape recorder and that he knew tips on how to function it. It wasn’t utilized in the interview with Ron, simply because that might no longer were inside of their common strategies. Barney didn’t purchase that, both. Rogers additionally admitted that the police division had a prepared offer of pencils and paper, yet stumbled badly whilst he attempted to give an explanation for why he and Rusty Featherstone didn't enable Ron to jot down his personal assertion. They refused to enable him see it, both, when they have been via with it, and Barney piled at the suspicion. As he drilled Rogers approximately his strange techniques, Rogers made a massive mistake. He pointed out Ron’s 1983 interrogation, on video, during which Ron had steadfastly denied any involvement. Barney was once incredulous. Why had he now not been advised of this tape? Pretrial discovery required the prosecution handy over all exculpatory facts. Barney had well timed filed the right kind motions, months past. The previous September the court docket had ordered the prosecution to supply protection suggestions with all statements made through Ron relative to the homicide research. How may well the police and prosecutor sit down at the tape for 4 and a part years and conceal it from the protection? Barney had only a few witnesses at his disposal, because the case opposed to Ron was once essentially an “admission” case, one during which the country was once utilizing numerous witnesses, albeit a slightly sketchy assortment, to testify that Ron, at quite a few instances and in a number of methods, admitted to the homicide. the sole method to struggle such testimony was once to disclaim it, and the single one who might deny making the admissions was once Ron himself. Barney deliberate to place Ron at the stand in his personal safety, yet he used to be petrified of the possibility. The 1983 tape could were a strong device to teach the jury. 4 and a part years past, lengthy earlier than the prosecution had prepare its roster of shady witnesses, and lengthy sooner than Ron had one of these long felony checklist to respond to to, he had sat sooner than a digicam and time and again denied any involvement. IN A well-known 1963 choice, Brady v. Maryland, the U. S. excellent court docket held that “the suppression by way of the prosecution of proof favorable to an accused upon request violates due approach the place the facts is fabric both to guilt or to punishment, regardless of the great religion or undesirable religion of the prosecution. ” Investigators have all of the assets.
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